Bar Exam Requirements

In May, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals announced that a new bar admission hurdle would be foisted upon the state’s would-be lawyers in the form of a 50-hour pro bono requirement. Last month, we found out that the new rule was “much better than it could have been,” since it allowed for the mandatory pro bono hours to be completed anywhere and at any time, including during bar admittees’ law school years.

That really doesn’t sound as bad as everyone thought it was going to be. The “justice gap” will be closed, the importance of public interest work will be stressed to new lawyers (even though existing lawyers will continue to maintain only an aspirational call to perform pro bono work), and everyone will hold hands, sing “Kumbaya,” and call it a day. At least that’s how Lippman envisioned it.

But now that everyone’s gotten used to the fact that New York’s pro bono rule is here to stay, some additional analysis has been performed by law schools statewide. Oh, you thought that the state’s “justice gap” was going to just disappear? Yeeeaaahhh, about that….

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* A former Cravath law librarian is fighting his “effective termination” from Southern Illinois University School of Law over alleged threats to bash a colleague in the head with a crowbar. How déclassé! What, was a champagne flute not available? [National Law Journal]

* Is New York’s new mandatory pro bono requirement for admission to the bar too rigid a licensing rule? Compared to what it could have been, no, but obviously others disagree on this point. [Am Law Daily]

* New York Law School’s dean thinks that experience in City Hall gives him an edge. In other news, after being sued over its employment stats, NYLS had the most applicants ever since 2008. Sigh. [New York Law Journal]

* Jamie McCourt doesn’t think it’s very fair that she only got a $131M divorce payout when her ex-husband, Frank McCourt, ended up with $1.7B after he sold the Dodgers. #filthyrichpeopleproblems [Bloomberg]

* “I’m in shock and I’m angry and I’m hurt and I’m flabbergasted and I’m livid.” You’d feel the same if you saw that your engagement photo was being used in an anti-gay marriage mailer. [City Room / New York Times]

* Don’t mind me, I’m just watering my hippies: in a proposed settlement, the University of California is offering $30K to each of the students who were pepper-sprayed by a police officer at UC Davis last year. [CNN]

Back in May, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals announced that a new bar admission hurdle would be foisted upon would-be lawyers in the state, in the form of a 50-hour pro bono requirement.

It was at that point that people started losing their minds. Some likened the decree to indentured servitude, while others called it “utterly wrongheaded.” Even law schools were pissed off about the requirement, citing worries that the requirement constituted a “significant barrier to entry” to those who attended law school outside of New York State.

Now, just four months later, Judge Lippman has unveiled the details of his pro bono plan — and, to tell you the truth, they’re really not that bad. What’s in store for future New York bar examinees?

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... except when it's forced upon us.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals announced yesterday that a new bar admission hurdle would be foisted upon would-be lawyers in the state, in the form of a 50-hour pro bono requirement.

Apparently poor people in the Empire State have been having trouble securing legal services, so what better way to assist them than to force similarly situated people to come to their aid? Instead of relying upon existing attorneys to lend a helping hand to those in need, Judge Lippman has chosen to force the task upon those who have no choice but to obey.

Chief Judge Lippman had a good idea, but it’s a bit misplaced. Let’s discuss what the new pro bono requirement means for you, and delve into what others are saying about it….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “New York Forces Pro Bono Requirements Upon Would-Be Lawyers Because No One Else Cares About Poor People”

Adriana Ferreyr

* Starting next year, if you want to be a lawyer in New York, you’re going to have to work for free. Because nothing says “we care” like indentured servitude. Thank God for law school clinic hours… maybe. [New York Times]

* Mo’ law schools, mo’ problems? That’s what Dean Wu thinks. Here’s a new trend to watch: UC Hastings, like other law schools, will be reducing its incoming class sizes. [USA Today]

* MOAR TRANSPARENCY! Support has been shown for the ABA’s proposed changes to law school disclosure requirements. All the better for those “sophisticated consumers,” eh, Judge Schweitzer? [ABA Journal]

* “Dogs are always happy to see you, no matter how you do on your Evidence exam.” Only real bitches would throw shade. Emory has joined the therapy dog pack for finals. [11 Alive News]

* In trying to dismiss a $50M suit against billionaire George Soros, his lawyer claimed that his ex would have had to suffer an “unconscionable injury.” Dude, she did. She banged an octogenarian. [New York Daily News]

* Ann Richardson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the UDC School of Law, RIP. [Washington Post]

* He may not have authoritah to respect! George Zimmerman received more than $200K in donations for his legal defense fund, but Judge Lester isn’t going to increase his bail just yet. [New York Times]

* Is Joe Amendola’s client, Jerry Sandusky, rubbing off on him? First he advises people to call a gay sex hotline, and now he’s spilling loads (of info) on boys all across Pennsylvania. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* Thanks to an inquiry by the New York Post, Columbia Law has changed how it reports its post-grad employment statistics. Perhaps more publications should get their b*tch-slappers out. [New York Post]

* If every day were filled with science experiments, laser demonstrations, and art projects at Crowell & Moring, then maybe lawyers would think twice about allegedly embezzling millions. [Washington Post]

* Lawyers need to know how to be lawyers before they can be lawyers? “Way too meta, dudes,” say law school deans in California. Maybe next time, bar examiners, maybe next time. [National Law Journal]

* “With these grades, you could be a stripper.” That’s quite the report card! Guys Teachers in my high school used to allegedly sexually harass former students all the time, it was no big deal. [Connecticut Post]

* Walter L. Gordon Jr., a groundbreaking lawyer in the era of segregation, RIP. [Los Angeles Times]